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Cheers to a Summer of Midwest Beverage Innovation.

Cindy K’s Shop and Illinois Women in Cannabis Marketing Chairwoman on cannabis beverage creators.

15/06/2022

As an Illinois Women in Cannabis member, I have the privilege of assisting the organization with strategic partnerships and programming. As an Indie Marcomm Operator, I get to support the brand, product, and retail marketing goals of some of Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan’s leading cannabis brands. Since I initially poured myself into a career of brand positioning, product launches, and distributor work withs for Jack Daniel’s and Pilsner Urquell, I’m privileged to support today’s beverage creators. As IWC support and an indie agent, I’m excited about my summer with several Midwest beverage innovators.

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I became a fan of Cann Social Tonics last year when IWC was honored to showcase its Chief Revenue Officer at the inaugural Cannabis Drinks Expo. It was a snowy October day when the sunny Chelsea Bedard mesmerized a standing-room-only crowd with the story of Cann and the queer community it was created for. Fast-forward to this summer. I had the privilege to work with Chassidy Crowder and the Cann Midwest team to kick off June’s Pride Month in Chicago at the classy High-Minded Events’ “Higher Love'' party. You can catch Cann in the market as it continues to celebrate June’s Pride Month with WeedMaps as its partner and can connect with Cann’s co-founder Luke Anderson at the Cannabis Drinks Expo in both San Francisco and Chicago.

Image: Luke Anderson, Co-Founder at Cann (Left); Chelsea Bedard, Chief Revenue Officer at Cann (Right)

Image: Luke Anderson, Co-Founder at Cann (Left); Chelsea Bedard, Chief Revenue Officer at Cann (Right).

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Another campy collab I’m valuing is with Josh Loyal (Grigaitis) of Mighty Kind. Mighty Kind is a holistic beverage maker creating botanical seltzers and cannabis-infused drinks. Josh and the St. Louis-based brand keep bubbling up on the national stage in collaboration with iconic actor/director/producer Kevin Smith, famed for Clerks, Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob, and his podcast, Fatman Beyond. Mighty Kind has become a cult classic in the form of Mighty Kind’s Mooby Cannabis Seltzer. (Mooby’s is a fictional fast-food joint from Smith’s Jay & Silent Bob films). In July, Mooby Cannabis Seltzer will be included in the Mooby’s restaurant pop-up Smith will activate at San Diego Comic-Con. Expect Mighty Kind and Smith to reveal another artful product integration at Comic-Con, as well.

Image: Josh Loyal (Grigaitis) (Left); Kevin Smith (Right)

Image: Josh Loyal (Grigaitis) (Left); Kevin Smith (Right).

This summer, fandom is growing for the Primer Electrolyte Charged Hard Seltzers team and the insight behind “The First Inclusive Drinking System.” Primer is the market’s first 3-ABV variety pack. Each nine-pack includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options in one package: 8% ABV, 5% and 0% ABV. This Spring, Primer co-founders Anthony Spina and Matt Sievers got on my radar as Midwest businessmen who valued Illinois Women in Cannabis’ influence and network. I appreciated that the duo was able to organically integrate into our efforts and authentically support our mission. Likewise, I’ve valued supporting their summer hustle, featuring Primer on the back bar at regional special events when I can. Want to meet the Primer guys? You’ll have to find them in the market, off-premise, stacking cases, and celebrating depletions.

Image: Anthony Spina and Matt Sievers, Primer co-founders.

Image: Anthony Spina and Matt Sievers, Primer co-founders.

It’s been an honor to advise two special IWC sisters this summer. Tiffany Woodman alongside chief innovation officer, Lisbeth Vargas Jaimes, are both Latinx brand builders who have added Sky & Wyatt, an organic, herbal tea infused with CBD, to their portfolio which includes Canna Bella Lux and High Potential Agency. Building on the belief that self-care and cannabis transcend age, race, and gender, they are working to bring national attention to wellness through community and CBD. Sky & Wyatt are herbal teas with amazing benefits of organic Colorado-grown hemp blended for natural healing properties. You can find Sky & Wyatt CBD tea featured online and in-store at Canna Bella Lux. Don’t wait until Autumn to sip or gift these delicious infused-CBD sachets of Sky & Wyatt. Select a blend that lets you “Turn On,” “Take Charge” or “Be Still.”

Image: Tiffany Woodman (Left) and Lisbeth Vargas Jaimes (Right), Cannabis Entrepreneur, Sky & Wyatt.

Image: Tiffany Woodman (Left) and Lisbeth Vargas Jaimes (Right), Cannabis Entrepreneur, Sky & Wyatt.

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This summer is Society Seltzers’ first warm-weather season. It’s a Missouri-made THC-infused beverage made by MMJ manufacturer, Monarch Supply Company. Last Fall we launched the flagship beverage at the inaugural Cannabis Drinks Expo in Chicago. The micro-dosed seltzer was created to be a solution for an important segment of Missouri medical marijuana patients, and retail-ready for the state’s adult-use market. Missouri’s casual users may be sipping Society Seltzer soon as the state is trending towards a positive vote on recreational use this November.

Image: Society Seltzer

Image: Society Seltzer

One of our most anticipated events this summer season is the 2022 Cannabis Drinks Expo in Chicago on August 2. This year IWC will share insights from three women who’ve had a hand in Happi Drinks, Michigan's first THC-infused beverage. Inside the expo, IWC’s executive director Amor Montes de Oca will moderate the intellectual exchange among Wendy Berger, Lisa Hurwitz, and Meagen Anderson. Berger is Illinois Women in Cannabis Co-Founder and Founder of WBS Equities, LLC. Hurwitz is Happi’s President and Anderson is Director of Wholesale for Highway Horticulture.

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Outside, get ready for a delicious dose of happiness when the Happi Camper pulls up with THC-free samples and swag, of course.

An Article by Cindy Kosydor, Cindy K’s Shop and Illinois Women in Cannabis Marketing Chairwoman.

2023 Exhibitor registrations are now open. Get super early bird pricing. Learn more about pricing and benefits.